Dress code for Uni interviews/visit days(31 Posts)
Having just got her first interview for Uni DD1 is now worrying about what to wear ! She has to wear business wear for school so has a trouser suit and skirt/jacket if needs to be formal but is casual more usual ? She will be mortified if she gets it wrong
Thing is, as an academic, I suspect if I'm swayed at all by what applicants are wearing (such influence would be utterly minimal, I hope!) I'd be more put off by high fashion/too smart, than jeans and a tshirt.
My DD did MFL and got offers from Southampton, Bath, Warwick, Durham & Cambridge. She wore a skirt & blouse to her interviews - Not a suit skirt but a smartish one, and quite a fancy blouse (I would have gone for more formal) - but is was what she was comfortable in. Her 6th form did not have a uniform.
DS wore his school suit because that is what he was used to, but both saw lots in Jeans as well as high fashion.
Thank you PiratePanda that's really helpful. Thank you.
(God, that sounded like we care what students wear to interview - actually, we don't. It's the mind that counts, nothing else. But we all know that subconsciously clothes can sway people, and why risk it?)
Am I too late to pitch in? I'm a lecturer and do admissions at a Russell Group university.
Smart, but not a suit is the way to go - a nice dress and a jacket, or trousers, shirt and nice cardigan; that kind of thing. Boys do tend to wear their "business-wear" uniforms, but not women.
That being said, she should also wear something she's comfortable in. I'd overlook dirt and patches (maybe not smelliness ;-) if the student's intellect shone through.
I wore a skirt and jumper to mine I think (not tiny denim skirt, but above the knee. So smart-ish but not too old/formal looking.). I think to one I might have worn dark skinny trousers tucked into knee-high boots and a jumper.
They're more interested in you as a person than what you're wearing, but obviously you want to look presentable!
Oh, and I got offers everywhere.
* it's more a case of "I'll die if I turn up in jeans and everyone else is in a suit " (or vice versa)*
Oh dear! Oh yes, I recognise that!
It sounds to me -- from the outside -- that anxieties about the interview itself are being projected onto the "what to wear" question. It's only natural, but needs to be identified, and put to rest.
What ISingSoprano says: 'smart, clean, comfortable.'
Ds is at Southampton snowyowl70 - although not doing languages. I still stand by the 'smart, casual, clean, tidy and comfortable' advice.
I didn't for one minute think that the decision will be based on anything other than ability/suitability for the course it's more a case of "I'll die if I turn up in jeans and everyone else is in a suit " (or vice versa).
The main thing is, be dressed appropriately. For our selection days (2 days, interview plus equivalent of lab stuff), turning up in a suit would show the applicant has no idea what the course involves, and they'd have some difficulty in doing what we ask of them.
And I don't dress up for interviewing -- I wear what I feel like. It's not something academics tend to bother about, thank goodness -- we tend to have more important stuff to think about.
And I'd suggest that what an applicant wears is really not going to make much difference: if they're good, they'll be made an offer; if they're not, they won't. I do sometimes note inappropriate clothing, but again, it's not going to make a difference to whether I make an offer or not, unless it's part of a larger pattern of behaviour.
There really isn't a magic formula for applicants! It's straightforward selection:
* have an idea of what the course involves ie LISTEN to the detail on Open Days
* be able to demonstrate an interest in the subject you want to read, that goes beyond required coursework
* be able to demonstrate an enquiring mind
* have GCSEs which indicate your potential and also some demonstration of actual achievement
* have A2 predictions + a school reference that suggest you'll cope with the course
* be open and engaged
Interview at Southampton - anyone know the approach there ? Head of dept gave his talk in a suit at Open Day although other lecturers were more dresses/chinos types.
At my uni, interviews for professions (law, health professionals etc) would usually expect smart-casual. Interviews for anything else, casual would be just fine.
My dept rarely interviews now. On the odd occasion I do, I would be wearing my normal work clothes of jeans and t-shirt.
That's a good idea MinesAPintofTea ! Or did wonder about trouser suit with less formal blouse - sort of middle of the road !!
Why not smart skirt, blouse, high-neck jumper? Then she can make the call once there as to whether she wants the jumper on for smart-student or off for business wear.
You will probably find it depends on the culture of the individual department. My previous workplace was fairly conservative and staff in jeans and t-shirts would have been a little frowned upon. Students would have been expected to realise they were being interviewed for a course which would lead them to a 'profession' and their conduct during interview should reflect that. Likewise, they were expected to conduct themselves in a certain manner during their degree and if they did not, they could compromise their chances of registration at the end.
Otoh, dp's department is very relaxed by comparison and he regularly wears jeans and t-shirts to work.
I would expect the interviewers to be looking smart
you may be disappointed then. Ds was interviewed by a guy in jeans, shirt and sweater.
My son will be wearing a suit as his alternatives are very casual.
I wore smart attire to my uni interviews. I approach it as any interview.
I disagree that it shows you have no idea what being a student is about. You choose your clothes to suit the occasion. I would expect the interviewers to be looking smart and in general if I'm interviewing I don't expect the applicants to be looking much scruffier than me.
Shirt and chinos would be fine but I wouldn't go below that.
I'd go more casual for visit days.
Ds was interviewed for a social science course, he wore dark chinos , an open necked but smart shirt ( TM Lewin linen I think) ,
.Smart school shoes and he wore his dark wool reefer jacket on the top.He wasn't comfortable in a suit and tie and I thought he needed to be comfortable and he wanted to "be himself" He got a place! ( 143 for 10 places)
When ds was going for interviews last year he wore chinos with a shirt and smart shoes. The girls mainly wore smart/casual skirt outfits. This was for a science subject. The suits looked 'overdone'.
But meant to say, whatever an applicant is wearing, it's their performance at interview that I evaluate.
Smart casual. I'd be a bit hmmmm about a student in a suit: basically, it wouldn't make a difference in the outcome of the interview, but I'd wonder if they actually knew what university is about. Jeans wouldn't bother me really: what does bother me is smelliness in the boys, and too much flesh showing in the girls.
And for one part of our selection procedures (think prac. lab work or the equivalent) wearing a suit would show they had no idea ...
Does she have any dresses she could wear which look quite smart but wouldn't be out of place for wearing day to day? I would personally just do a dress, cardigan, nice shoes type outfit for this. I agree a suit is a bit much and jeans too casual.
I used to interview for a sciences degree. I'd say go smart. Going casual gives the impression of 'not that interested' and he needs to give the impression of, 'I really want this place and I'm out to impress you'. Also, in terms of behaviour, he should treat it as a job interview. The amount of students who answered the question, "why do you want to study here?" with, "the nightlife in the city is really great" was unbelievable. I also had students mouthing off in front of me about where they had been for interviews, their favorite places and which 'uni' they would accept a place from if they got an offer. Really not the way to get an offer....
It is a visit day with an interview in the afternoon so lots of walking around campus/halls in the morning then subject talks and interview in the afternoon . She has suits then not a lot of smart casual and then jeans etc - difficult to know which way to go !
I think she'd be overdressed in a suit for ML. What's her normal style? As long as she isn't given to wearing Daisy Dukes or those horrendous see-through leggings, she should probably wear whatever she feels comfortable and reasonably smart in - think tea at Fortnum's with your favourite (but rather stuffy) great-aunt.
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